| Sep 23, 2012
"A poet," Louis Simpson once wrote, "should wish for enough unhappiness to keep him writing."
Simpson may not have wished for trouble, but he kept writing for 60 years — spare, powerful poems about war, infidelity, suburban alienation and other...
| Sep 21, 2012
| 4:15 PM
Arguing over poetry's cultural relevance is a little like debating the potential effects of drilling for oil in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, says Poetry magazine editor Christian Wiman. “For many people, poetry will remain remote,...
| Feb 20, 2013
| 7:19 AM
W.H. Auden trawled the Oxford English Dictionary for old and obscure words, some of which he employed in his poetry. He was so fond of the OED that he often took a volume of it to bed at night. We here in Wordville understand that.
Thus there is joy...
| Dec 10, 2012
| 7:45 PM
If like me you come from a mixed family, meaning there are conservative Republicans and liberal Democrats boisterously hashing out their differences at the holiday table, you'll have an easy time recognizing the Wyeth clan gathered to celebrate...
| Mar 15, 2013
| 1:25 PM
Aleksandar Hemon, the 48-year-old Bosnian refugee who has become one of this city's literary rock stars, can amuse and he can devastate. That he does both in his second language, wielded with precision and elegance, has earned him comparisons to Nabokov...
| Aug 24, 2012
| 12:20 PM
"First you're young. Then you're old. Then you're wonderful."
— Alice Roosevelt Longworth
STRATFORD, Canada — Christopher Plummer is in the wonderful phase of his career — and at 82 he's seizing the opportunity.
In February, the six-...
| Aug 29, 2012
| 2:04 PM
It’s no secret how more I greatly admire Gabriel Kahane’s terrific score to his new musical “February House” when its had its world premiere earlier this year at New Haven’s Long Wharf Theatre. It subsequently had a run at...
| Aug 29, 2010
Reporting from Maui —
We've been batting our way through W.S. Merwin's yard for a couple hours, swatting mosquitoes in the streambed under the dark wet canopy of towering, philodendron-draped mangoes and looking at some 700 species of palm trees,...
| Aug 18, 2010
The concluding volume in the magisterial historical tetralogy Richard Rhodes calls "The Making of the Nuclear Age" bears a weighty subtitle that hints at its somewhat discursive nature.
"The Twilight of the Bombs: Recent Challenges, New Dangers, and...
| Oct 3, 2010
Farrar, Straus and Giroux: 314 pp., $26
What is it, exactly, that makes reading Adam Phillips such a refreshing, rewarding and invigorating experience? A psychoanalyst who splits his time between his private practice and his...
| Mar 28, 2012
| 8:31 PM
Adrienne Rich, a pioneering feminist poet and essayist who challenged what she considered to be the myths of the American dream and subsequently received high literary honors, died Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz. She was 82.
The cause was...